Everybody Loves Santa

Everybody Loves Santa

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Book of Christmas Virtues

Everybody Loves Santa

One Christmas season I helped Santa Claus by filling in for him at a small shopping mall. Instead of the usual assembly line of children, I enjoyed spontaneous visits with little tots bearing lists of toys, as well as the occasional surprise visits with teenagers and adults.

A bright, happy and chatty three-and-a-half-year-old sat on my lap, asking questions and answering mine. Finally, looking me in the eye, she said, “I thought you were fake. You’re real!” Her doubts removed, I’m sure she had a magical Christmas.

A pair of fifteen-year-old boys ran up, hugged me lovingly and, grinning, asked, “Will you bring us each a motor-cycle?” After a brief chat, they walked away chuckling.

A young father paid the elf photographer for a single picture. “I don’t have custody of my children,” he explained, “and I want to show them a picture of you and me shaking hands.” He received the finished photo, mouthed “thank you” and left.

Three teenage girls skipped and twirled over. Giggling, one teased, “I want a sports car.”

The second one topped her. “I want a mansion.”

The last girl whispered in my ear, “I’d like a job for my dad.”

As they walked away, her friends probed, “What did you ask for?”

“That’s between me and Santa,” she sighed.

Substitute Santa swallowed hard and wiped his eyes with his handkerchief. I truly believe the girl’s father found a job becuse, you see, that night Santa prayed he would.

Robert H. Bickmeyer

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